1 Cor. 5:5: WARNING re Theology and Hermeneutics

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sun Nov 22 1998 - 06:55:55 EST

This text is certainly open to legitimate speculation regarding the meaning
of the Greek expressions and syntax within it. HOWEVER, please note that it
leads almost immediately into THEOLOGICAL questions regarding not only the
precise function of the ritual described in the Pauline text but also the
meaning of damnation and and/or the ultimate destiny of those who reject
God's mercy.

Quite frankly, I fear that attention directed to this and related text may
shift its focus away from the meaning of the Greek text into broader
questions of hermeneutics--the nature, authority, and proper interpretation
of the canonical Biblical texts--and theology--in this instance, doctrines
of judgment, redemption, and the whole understanding of salvation and
redemption. I do not doubt that strong views on these matters, views that
range all across the theological spectrum, are held by list-members and it
would not surprise me that there might be intense interest and intense
feelings aroused by continuation of the kind of discussion that has already
spilled over in at least two of the posts in this emerging thread into
territory outside the legitimate domain of B-Greek discussion.

I urge, therefore, that list-members who may wish to contribute to the
understanding of 1 Cor 5:5 take careful note of the line drawn here between
exegesis focusing upon understanding precisely what the Greek text in its
own context says and means and a broader exegesis that (a) depends upon
specific perspectives on Biblical hermeneutics that are either wholly
personal or that vary according to one's denominational or sectarian
faith-commitment, and/or (b) expands the focus of discussion to
implications of this and related passages for the whole range of Biblical
eschatological doctrine.

If discussion continues to focus upon these areas of broader exegesis, we
shall not hesitate to call a halt to this thread.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad@yancey.main.nc.us
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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